Roughly 500 new words and phrases have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary via its quarterly update. The latest members of the word nerd holy grail include autotune, crowdfunding, deep web, e-cig, kryptonite (how is this just now making it in?), photobomb, retweet, webisode, meh, vaping, sexting and twerk.
As has been the case for several years now, the latest update is heavily influenced by pop culture and the online world. One word in particular, twerk, was popularized by Miley Cyrus a few years back but its origin dates back much further than most are aware of.
Katherine Conner Martin, Head of US Dictionaries at Oxford English Dictionary, notes that the use of twerk to describe a type of dancing originated in the early 1990s in the New Orleans bounce music scene.
The word itself, however, was first used way back in 1820 as a noun to refer to a twisting or jerking movement. It was originally spelled “twirk.” The term wasn’t used as a verb until 1901. Twerk as we know it today found its way to the Oxford Dictionaries Online a couple of years ago.
Previous tech-related / geek culture additions to the Oxford English Dictionary include LOL, OMG, heart (as a verb), IMO and BFF.
A full list of the June 2015 additions can be found by clicking here.